Friday, June 21, 2013

Food Friday

I've missed sharing recipes with you guys, so here's another one!  :-) 
I am in love with pasta but get tired of just plain ol' spaghetti, so here's a great recipe for the summer time!  Yum-O!

Awesome Bow Tie Pasta Salad


1 (16 ounce) package bow tie pasta

2 green onions, chopped

1 (6 ounce) package feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cups chopped fresh tomato


1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and place in ice water until cool.

2. Toss pasta with onion, feta, balsamic, olive oil and tomato. Serve immediately or chill 1 to 2 hours in refrigerator.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

End of school year update

Last week was the last day of school for my kiddos.  It was a long year. One that I do not want to repeat.  This is the first year at these schools for both kids and while there have been good times, there have been issues as well.  We have been battling medical issues with both kids as well. 

Nick started middle school this year and his ADHD medication needed adjusted.  He really needs to learn coping mechanisms as school gets harder for him as well.  This is a big adjustment for us all, as we have to learn how to help him too.  We have been super lucky as his teachers really seem to want him to succeed.  He's super smart and that kind of makes the whole picture murky.  It gets really frustrating because we all know he can do the work...but he forgets to do it or turn it in, or he loses it.  His grades in no way reflect what he's actually capable of.  He doesn't see the point in much of the work...especially homework.  So, he just doesn't do it.  There is only so much I can do as he needs to grow in responsibility.  He's had some great success in choir and band.  For the spring concert, he got a solo and ROCKED IT!  He was fantastic!  He's doing well on his trumpet as well.  He's currently trying to figure out which he wants to continue in because they can't do both, apparently.  He would like to march with the band, but he loves singing.  I have left that decision up to him, so I don't know what he will decide.  He's turning into an awesome young man.  :-)

Wesley just finished up first grade and it's been a rollercoaster ride.  He started out great, but with lots of focus issues.  Now, because of his autism, evaluating him for other problems is fairly hard.  Because Nick has been diagnosed with ADHD, we have really been wondering about Wesley.  Is it ADHD or just another symptom of his autism?  Then throw in the suspected seizure that he had last April and I just want to throw my hands in the air.  I went to our general doctor, but she wasn't confident in dealing with the autism, so she sent us to a neurologist.  The first one that we went to see didn't think that he actually had a seizure in April...she fixated on one small thing that was said and disregarded anything else that was said.  So, luckily, I got her to send us to a different doctor to deal with the focus issues...this one's focus is on children with autism, so I was feeling better already.  She is a behavioral neuropsychologist...that's a mouthful!  Anyway, she was fairly certain that he DID actually have a seizure and was concerned that he was having absentee seizures that would cause the focus issues.  Finally, someone was listening to me!  Anyway, she set up us for a 24 hour video EEG.  I was terrified.  When we went to the hospital last April, it took 6 of us to hold him down to get the electrodes on his head for a 30 minute were we going to get this done??  Just like any kid likes to prove mom wrong, that child sat right there and let the lady get him all hooked up!  Unreal!  I was dancing for joy!  Now, I just had to keep him occupied and happy for the next 24 hours!  Once he found the bed controls, he was a happy camper.  :-)  We went into this test thinking that we were going to be put on some kind of medication depending on the result...either seizure medication or ADHD meds.  Well, true to form, he had to be difficult and show one 1 second burst during the whole time.  This was not a seizure, but spoke to a tendency for seizures.  So, we were at an impasse.  Do we go ahead and start treatment for seizures that we don't know are happening or do more testing?  I opted for more testing.  We got to do a 3 day at-home EEG next.  The silly child...when we went to get him hooked up he cried because he wanted to go to the hospital.  Sigh.  He did really well again...except he throw up all over the place after everything was done.  I think we scarred the poor tech...he'd only been doing this for 6 months.  :-)  Results came back normal this time, so we were ready to start an ADHD medication. Then, of course, we had insurance issues getting it, so he started medication on the last full week of school.  Not overly helpful to see if it was going to help!  Oh well, whatcha gonna do?  It's never boring around my house! 

School was a trial, this was our first year there so they don't know him that well.  He did fairly well in the beginning, but around Christmas he stopped talking.  I still have no idea what that was about.  There was even talk about Selective Mutism.  I am fairly certain that is not the case.  He is very willful and will try different things to see how far he can push and they were letting him get away with it.  Once I finally got them to start correcting him, he started talking again.  And then the defiance come to the forefront.  He is such an independent child that he doesn't like to be told how and when to do stuff and he let them know about it too.  Well, at least he's talking again.  Here's to praying that next year is a better school year for him.

So, that's a pretty quick update of how our school year went.  I hope that yours went well and you have lots of great stuff planned for the summer!

Monday, January 21, 2013

One Word

Last year, instead of a New Year's resolution, I opted for one word, moderation.  One word for the entire year and I participated in the OneWord365 community.  I was surprised at how much that one word continued to crop up in my life and affect some of the decisions that I made. 

So, I am doing this again this year.  It took me a while, but I have decided on this year's word and wanted to share it with you.


Love is something that is universal.  We all feel it in one way or another.  In ancient Greek, there are 4 distinct words to describe love because of the complex nature of it.  There have been many, many songs written about it.  Books and poems abound about it.  Lives have been lost over it.  The bible mentions it over 500 times.  It is something that has existed from the beginning of time. 
Yet, we have a tendency to fail to practice it.
Love is something that can easily overflow to the people around you and can change whole lives and it can just start with a smile, but we have to be intentional about it.  When I practice love, whether it is a kind word or an act of kindness, it changes something in me as well as the one I am doing it for.  Then it has a snowball effect.  That person has a little more love to share as well to brighten someone else's day. 
Christ calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves.  This is not an easy thing, but as with most things, it gets easier with that's what I am going to do. 
I have always loved babies and at one point...back when I had NO idea what I was talking about...I wanted to have 10 children because of my love for babies.  So, I have stepped out and become the director of the Morgantown, WV chapter of Newborns In Need.  This is a national non-profit Christian organization that provides essential items to be distributed to babies and families that need help.  I am in the process of collecting items and donations to get this chapter started.  I am gathering volunteers to help collect or make needed items and help with fundraisers to purchase the items that aren't donated.  We will be meeting on a monthly basis and doing our best to help as many babies and families as we can.  If you would like to help in anyway, please let me know. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy birthday Wesley!

Wesley turns 7 tomorrow, so I thought that I would share some memories and pictures of the birthday boy! 

Wesley is our long tried for child.  We tried for 4 years for this beautiful blonde boy.  Who knew what we were getting ourselves into?  :-) 

The very first picture of Wesley!
Wesley had some medical issues during his 2 years, including asthma.
Doesn't he look like a model here??  Love it!

But this is how Daddy does it!


Wesley is a super funny witnessed here:

He wore these glasses for quite some time.

Wesley loved these teeth...even went to bed with them in!

And then these pictures.  Wesley decided that he and Daddy needed to switch hats!  :-)

Wesley is currently...and has been for about the last 18 months...very into Mario.  Don't let the costume fool you...he really likes Luigi better.  :-)

Happy 7th birthday, Wesley!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Food Friday - Christmas Cookies

I know, I said Christmas cookies, but these can be enjoyed any old time you would like!  I give you permission.  :-)

Rich's grandmother always made Christmas cookies and he was really wanting some this year.  I couldn't find the recipe for them that I had been given.  :-(  So, I had to play and come up with something it is.  He really liked these, so I thought I would share.  Enjoy!


Christmas Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp apple cider
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup diced maraschino cherries
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks
1/4 cup sugar, for dusting
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl, cream together the butter and sugars.
  3. Add the egg, extract, and apple cider.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix on high for 3-4 minutes or until the dough is light and fluffy.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add the flour to the butter/sugar and mix on low until just combined.
  6. Fold in the cherries, chopped walnuts and chocolate.
  7. Drop 1 heaping tbsp of dough onto the cookie sheet, 1-2 inches apart.  Do not place more than 12 on a sheet, the cookies spread and need room!
  8. Dust each mound of dough with sugar.
  9. Bake 14-15 minutes or until edges begin to brown.  Do not overbake!
  10. Remove and let cook on sheet for about 1 minute.  Remove to a wire rack to cool complete.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday

I have a small business called Foggy Morning Sundries.  The soap that I make is the largest part of the business, but I have just recently started making loom knitted hats as well.

Today is Small Business Saturday, a day to celebrate and support local small businesses, and I would love to help you with some unique gifts for the people on your lists.  Take a look at my Facebook page, Foggy Morning Sundries, but I will add some of my favorites here. Thanks!

This is great for any kiddo on your list.
This is for those with a sense of humor.
You won't want to eat these, but they smell divine!
I can't resist these puzzle pieces for autism awareness.

This is a great gift for the boys!

 Here are a couple of hats that I have made.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Project Lifesaver and Proud Mom

This weekend of October 21st was beautiful, but to tell the truth, we would have done this even if it hadn't been.  We participated in the Operation Jacob Reunion 5K Run/2K Fun Walk.

Five years ago, Jacob Allen was 18 and liked to go hiking with his parents.  On this specific day, they were hiking at Dolly Sods and Jacob got a little ahead of his parents and disappeared around a turn.  This shouldn't have been a big deal, but Jacob has autism and is non-verbal.  He was lost for 4 days when temperatures were down to about 40 degrees overnight.  Hundreds of people came from hours away to help in the search and on the fourth day Jacob was found lying in a clearing a little dehydrated, but otherwise unharmed.

This all happened around that time that we were getting a little suspicious about autism in Wesley and we went to church with this family, so I was glued to every piece of info that came out and I prayed my heart out that Jacob would be found in time.  Shortly after Jacob was found, he got a Project Lifesaver bracelet put on, so that if this should ever happen again, he would only be lost for a matter of hours at the most.

It was about a year later when Wesley figured out how to unlock the door on his own, and having no fear, decided to explore on his own. So, because of all we learned because of Jacob, we placed him in the program.  A deputy came to our house each month in full uniform, so he would not be afraid if they should need to find him, and changed the battery for the bracelet that he wore at all times on his ankle.  This bracelet has a radio transmitter inside it that uses a unique frequency for each person that the deputies can track if they should ever get lost.  This is used on anyone with autism, down syndrome, Alzheimer's, and other brain disorders.

This program probably saved me a couple gray hairs!  I had his transmitter frequency memorized, but thankfully, never had to use it.  However, I do remember twice that he pulled a disappearing act and while franticly looking for him, I continuously recited this number just so I didn't forget it in my panic.  Wesley has since stopped wandering and has become more verbal, so he no longer wears a Project Lifesaver bracelet.  But we have several friends who still need the bracelet, and we weren't going to pass up a chance to support such an important program! we went!

And we beat Miss Deb too! 

Originally, our whole family was going to participate in the 2K Fun Walk, but Nicholas decided that he was going to run the 5K.  He ran his very first 5K to benefit a program that had been essential in our peace of mind for years.  I am very proud of him!  He was the absolute last person to finish the run...and he even turned down a ride so he could finish.  But he was determined to do it and he did! 

He was pretty knocked out afterward though!  :-)